Seeds in the Mind

By Rev. David Wilson Rogers |  May 31, 2014

            A few years ago I cultivated a rather nice garden. Intent on enjoying the blessing of growing my own produce, I painstakingly tilled, fertilized, irrigated, and cultivated the soil to be the perfect place to grow an abundance of delicious food—or so I thought. The invaders had a different agenda.
            Perhaps it started with a gust of wind. Perhaps the dog brought in the invaders. It is possible a passing bird simply dropped them in. It is also likely the mysterious seeds were always there, just quietly waiting for the day when water and nourishment would allow them to unleash their unwelcome destruction. Quite frankly, it does not matter how they got there for their toxic influence is everywhere and relatively unavoidable. The fact is, it did not take long and my little garden was full of weeds—big, aggressive, and overpowering weeds.
            It would be nice if fertile soil had the power to know what seeds to germinate and what seeds to leave alone, but anyone who has ever ventured into the world of backyard horticulture knows otherwise. Seeds thrive in good soil and the seed does not care if it was wanted or not. Once it finds the opportunity to grow, it grows!
            I often think of this frustrating foray into the field of gardening when I consider one of God’s greatest creations and most profound gifts—the human mind. Much like a well-prepared garden, God filled this world with amazingly rich and fertile soil in the form of the human brain. In so many ways, it is the human brain that makes us who we are. Beyond mere intelligence, the whole notion of things such as language and love, science and religion, business and pleasure, or awareness and discovery would be impossible with the amazing miracle that is our mind.
            Being so open to limitless possibility and holding ceaseless capacity for amazing feats, the human mind is the perfect place for both the desirable and the undesirable realities life to grow and flourish. This is why, like a garden intended to grow delicious vegetables, we need to vigilantly protect our minds from the vast assortment of weeds which will permeate our defenses and take up residency in our minds.
            In referencing the text of what was probably a popular worship hymn of the First Century Christians, the Apostle Paul calls Christians to take on the mind of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2 calls for the faithful to carefully consider the seeds of self-destruction that come in the form of thinking that violates God’s priority for the fertile field that is our mind.
            Later in Philippians, Paul vividly illustrates the importance of having one’s mind oriented in such a way that the weeds of destruction are denied the opportunity to gain prominence in the mind of the believer. Like the pervasive nature of actual weeds, the mental weeds of worry or anxiety are all around us, always ready to take hold and germinate their toxic influence in the mind of the faithful. In the fourth chapter of Philippians, Paul not only calls for the believer to approach such tension through rejoicing and prayer, he then recommends a powerful mental herbicide of righteous thinking. “Think about these things,” Paul calls after listing the powerful expressions of positive and Godly focus. Such is the way our minds are transformed.
            There is little good done trying to rid the world of the weeds that would permeate our faith. Like the natural weeds of our biological world, those influences will always be seeking the most fertile soil in which to grow.  The solution lies in filling our minds with the goodness, grace, and love that is available through Christ, and remaining vigilant to uproot all the weeds that find their way into our lives before they are allowed to take over and rule.